Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Amazing Courage of Jonny; Meet the Brave Tumour Boy, Eight, Behind Pounds 20k Fundraising Campaign

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Amazing Courage of Jonny; Meet the Brave Tumour Boy, Eight, Behind Pounds 20k Fundraising Campaign

Article excerpt

Byline: EMMA GREENHALGH

AS battles go, this is one of the toughest - and little Jonny Kelly is having to face it at just eight years old.

Jonny was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumour just a year ago.

The terrible news shook his Billingham family to the core.

The tumour was discovered after Jonny started to wake in the night screaming with severe headaches.

Within days, medics discovered a tumour the size of a pounds 2 coin, embedded in the middle of his brain.

Mum Emma Kelly said: "We were just constantly crying and shaking. We did not eat or sleep for days.

"I was thinking 'Oh my God, he is going to be taken from us'."

Dad Wayne said it was "the end of the world" for them.

"I just said, 'can I take his tumour from him?'" Fortunately Jonny's tumour - diagnosed last May - is a slow-growing, non-aggressive kind called Tectal Plate Glioma.

But because of its rooted position, the tumour - which has already caused a squint to one eye - is inoperable.

Now eight, Jonny could have been living with it unawares since birth and the cancerous tissue has already shown signs of growth.

But in the 10 months since diagnosis, it has not developed further.

His 30-year-old mum, who works part-ttime for RBS insurance company, said: "Our worry is that it has already grown and may reoccur."

Jonny underwent immediate surgery to release the build-up of fluid on his brain which was a side effect of the tumour.

It was so pressurised it left indentations on his skull.

He then started an 18-month stint of chemotherapy which he is now in the third phase of, ending in November.

As a result, the Billingham South Primary School pupil has shed and regained a stone in weight and his hair has fallen out and regrown.

In a show of solidarity Wayne, 39, his uncle James, 35, and brother Joe, three, also had their heads shaved last summer.

As part of his treatment Jonny, who has several allergies, has to have blood transfusions and came out in hives once after having an allergic reaction.

But Emma said she is "so proud" of Jonny, who loves his Xbox and new pet rabbit, and never whinges or complains. …

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